How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Ward 72176
Earning a physical therapy degree near Ward AR is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Ward AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Ward AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Ward AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Ward AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Ward AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Ward AR physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Ward AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Ward AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Ward health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Ward AR residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Ward AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ward Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ward AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Ward is the third most populous city in Lonoke County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,067 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The city is divided into three wards, progressing from the northeast to the southwest. In the city's first ward is its downtown, which is situated diagonally along a railroad line running parallel to Arkansas Highway 367 (the former path of U.S. Highway 67). The second ward contains the central portion of the city, its industrial area, and its access to the current U.S. Highway 67/167 (Future Interstate 57). Arkansas Highway 319 (Peyton Street within the city south of Highway 367) is a primary thoroughfare in central Ward toward the southwestern section of the city. Some of the most recent development is in the city's third ward, situated mostly along Peyton Street, south of Wilson Street into the Old Austin community and Arkansas Highway 38; a small detached portion of the ward is located to the northwest along the railroad line and Arkansas Highway 367. Ward Central Elementary, the city's campus of the Cabot School District, is located in the larger portion of the third ward.
Ward is governed by a mayor-council form of municipal government, with a mayor, city clerk, and six-member city council, as well as four city departments — fire, police, street maintenance, and utilities (water and sanitation). City administration is housed in the former Ward Elementary School; the campus is also the site of the city's library, a branch of the Lonoke-Prairie Regional Library System, also the site of the Ward Lions Club.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Ward AR
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Ward AR.
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